Saturday, July 22, 2017

Improved Life: Obese Dogs That Lose Weight

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have discovered that the obese dogs that lose weight usually get an improved life quality. compared to the ones that do not. Even before the research had been carried out, people used to know that non-obese dogs, much like their human owners, are blessed with the better quality of life. Studies have shown that almost one-third of the dog population in the UK is overweight, which is a really big reason of concern for the dog owners. Obesity is the root to a series of health issues, including cardiac problem, diabetes and arthritis. 

The scientists carried out a research work with 50 obese dogs, including both genders and pure breeds and mixed breeds at the University of Liverpool in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, Royal Canin and the WALTHAM Center for Pet Nutrition. The owners were asked to complete a questionnaire in order to diagnose the issues related to their dogs health that influenced the life of their dog before the weight loss. In the second phase another questionnaire was asked to be completed by the owners of 30 dogs that were put in a weight loss session and successfully completed the program. The researchers could assess the change in the quality of the life of their dogs. The life quality of the dogs which lose weight in the program was compared with the ones that failed to succeed in the weight loss program.

Good news is several factors influencing the life quality were noticed to have developed. These factors included vitality (strength activeness and energy), emotional balance and pain. the result showed that the life quality, in terms of pains, mental balance and vitality, was improved for the dogs that could succeed in the weight loss program. Obesity is a risk for many dogs, affecting not only their health but also their quality of life. This research indicates that weight loss can play an important role in keeping your dog both healthy and happy, said Dr Alex German, Director of the Royal Canin Weight Management Clinic at the University. According to Dr Penelope Morris, from the WALTHAM Center for Pet Nutrition, strategies for combating obesity and keeping dogs fit and healthy include portion control, increased exercise and diets specifically formulated for overweight pets.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Nature's Rule for Pack Heirarchy and My BIG Mistake

dog fight


Do not make the same mistake as I did by getting into their fights to stop the war. To many dog lovers across the globe this post may sound a bit too off-beat as I have always spoken against cruelty to animals and saving lives...

Well, this post is published followed by a few months of critically studying behavioral components, dominance signals in dogs that live in pack - in houses or in the wild. I have also consulted documents of several canine psychologists and behaviorists, including Nick White and the genius Professor Stanley Coren and several others before coming up with this post.

I suggest dog owners - especially those who have more than one dog - not to tread into the conflicts between dogs. The situation may worsen up, not just because you may be hurt badly, but  because by interfering you will actually prevent them from framing a natural hierarchical structure. People who share lives with dogs should know that there are "set of natural rules" that act as determinants of "dominance", "ownership" and "territoriality".

Conflicts between two dogs in a pack usually starts, progresses and ends based on these natural rules. And there are very rare instances of big blood shed. Often times there's nothing more than small wounds, punctures and cuts, which are not usually fatal. These are situations when dogs should be better left alone to fight and things will be sorted out naturally, with one of them exhibiting submissive gestures. The moment one shows submission and backs off, the other dog usually stops his attacks. This submission of one dog automatically places the other dog higher in the natural pack hierarchy, which he was fighting for - the "Dominance" in this case.

What mistake I did?

Some of my readers may have this question now... what was my mistake with Reva and Rechie. The situation was little different. It wasn't a fight for position, but for ownership.

Mistake 1: I pushed them into competitive play (fetching a ball and there were two dogs), which generated a fight for ownership of the property (ball).

Mistake 2: I got into their conflict to stop them and ended up with some minor wounds that required stitches.


However, in continuation with my Mistake 2, the wounds on my palm, hands and face, and some cuts and punctures in their bodies here and there were not my points of concern. By interfering I could set them apart, locked them in separation for a couple of hours, but they could not determine who among them were dominant. The fight did not end naturally with one being submissive. This means they could not instinctively use the "natural rules" for determining the dominant member of the pack. Therefore, there was always high chance for re-occurrence of similar fights again throughout their life.

If you have not read my previous relevant post, here is a better understanding of Why Clashes Occur in a Pack.


Dominance & Submission - Does that work for all dogs?

As long as the dogs are properly bred by educated and sensible breeder, things should work fine. Incorrectly bred specimens will fail to understand their limit and will not be submissive. This indicates a tendency to disregard the signals to stop and natural rules. Correctly combined genes should strike a proper behavioral balance. Aggression and Submission are two most significant component of temperament that are governed by genes. Hyper-submissive nature and hyper-aggressiveness are as undesirable as hypo-submissive nature and hypo-aggressiveness. Conflicts among dogs with imbalanced behavioral configuration can be fatally dangerous without human intervention. Dog breeding is an art and a science both... rather a "scientific art" or an "artistic science". Science of Dog Breeding needs to be considered seriously. It is not everybody's cup of tea. Dog breeding for making money has always ended up with wrong types of progenitors, with major and suppressed or visible problems either related to physical or physiological or psychological. A related study on Role of Gene in The Character of a Dog.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Top 10 Dog Myths You Must Read


This post talks about the commonest dog myths that people around us believe in. The deadliest myth is dogs are born biters. Don't believe in such cynophobic and baseless ideas. Apart from this there are other dog myths that most dog owners believe in. Here are the top 10 dog facts that are just myth. Believing these myth may put your dogs to problems.

Suggestion: Understand and Implement.

1. Garlic is good as flea prevention : This is the biggest myth I have ever come across! Researchers have proved that too much of Garlic in your dog food may be dangerous for your dog. Garlic contains natural chemical that affect the Red blood cells that can get ruptured and become incapable of carrying oxygen effectively. However, some dog owners have been giving garlic to their dogs without no issues, but some dogs are more sensitive to garlic toxicity than others. How much is too much for dog is not known yet. Toxicity level varies from dogs to dogs.Garlic has immense benefit to us humans, but is a NO for dogs.
Both garlic and onions contain natural Thiosulfate, which is toxic to canines.

2. Dogs that wag tails are considered happy : This is true, but not always. Even non-friendly dogs wag their tail too. It is important to study other body languages and facial expressions that are cumulatively considered as the indication of a dogs state of mind.

3. Mixed breeds are always sturdy than pure breeds : Not necessarily true.Both pure and mixed breeds can be equally healthy and unhealthy depending on breeding strategies, care and nutrition. Mutts are usually not prone to specific disorders that are typical to certain pure breeds. However, conditions like bloat, dermal problems, heart problems etc. can be seen in both mutts and pure breed dogs.

4. Dogs with warm nose are ill : This is an old school of thought that dogs with warm nose have health issues like fever. This is a myth. The only best way to know if your dog has fever is to check it by thermometer. Normally a healthy dog should have a body temperature of around 102.5 degrees F.

5. Eating grass is an indication of sickness : This is not true. Dogs have descended from the wolves that used to eat all parts of their prey. They also ate the stomach and its content which included grass that the animals ate. This ways grass was the part of the diets of any animals of canidae family. Dogs eating grass is quite normal, if they do not eat it in big volume.

6. Household pet dogs do not require to be vaccinated against rabies : Myth it is always important to vaccinate your dog. This is an indication of responsible ownership. Vaccinating your pet dog against rabies is a precautionary measure for both you and your pet.

7. Female dogs do not cock their legs while urinating : Not always true! Females can lift their legs while urinating and in certain cases they can even exhibit the half sitting-half cocking position while urinating. Check out why do female dogs cock their leg.

8. Dogs are carnivorous animals and should always be kept only on meat : Myth Dogs are actually omnivorous animals like us humans.They need veggies too. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat are some of the important ingredients of a perfect holistic dog food. Related Read (though not related to food): Does your dog need vitamins?


9. Dogs love tasty food : Not true. Remember your dogs taste buds are not as strong as yours. Dogs primarily loves food based on smell.

10. Dogs always need high protein diet : Big No! Your dogs diet management should be made on the basis of the amount of calorie it is exhausting each day. Obviously a working dog should be kept on higher protein and carbohydrate as compared to a domestic dog. However, low protein diet also makes low quality food. Right kind of ingredients is essential.

11. Dog understand human language : Not true. You say sit and Rex will sit. This doesn't mean your Rex understands the mean of the word in English. He only knows what to do he hears the particular sound. He acts on the sound.

Here are just a few of thousands of doggy myths. Responsible ownership also demands that you know the correct things related to dogs and not believing the hypes. Stay tuned Up next more talks about dogs.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Allelomimetic Behavior in Dogs


Allelomimetic behavior in dogs is the imitative behavior found in them and reflects their intelligence. Dogs can exhibit this behavior at any point of time in their life. However, as per the “Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog”, a puppy can first exhibit this behavior at around the age of 5 weeks.

More than one adult dogs that stay together – eat, play, sleep together are more prone to exhibit Allelomimetic behavior – one copying the dominating member of the pack. This is a common behavior in dogs is often noticed when a dog joins in barking or howling when his/her partner dog(s) will bark or howl. The other dog who is joining his pack members in barking will just imitate his members without even knowing the reason of barking.

The ability of dogs to induce themselves to act like the other members “in an adaptive manner” in a non-competitive situation brings in the sense of unity in them. Allelomimetic behavior is a type of natural social behavior found in the social animals – most prominent in canines – to imitate or mimic the activities of his/her pack members. This natural behavior is genetically hardwired in puppies – irrespective of breed and is one of the most significant factors and natural process of learning –can also be called “social learning”.

Allelomimetic behavior vs. Social facilitation

Closely resembling, the concept of “social facilitation” and “Allelomimetic behavior” are obviously related, but have subtle differences.

Allelomimetic behavior is a type of natural pack-coordinated behavior based on the natural inclination of any social animal to follow the other members of the pack. Social facilitation, on the other hand, refers to the behavior exhibited in the groups where the presence of a dog results in strengthening a specific behavior. For instance, two dogs staying together may bark more than when they were separate.

Takeaway:

If you have a dog with behavioral problem(s), it is suggested not adopting another dog to be kept together. The presence of the problem dog will environmentally influence the new member to develop the problem behavior. Even if you are adopting a dog from the best bloodline (without aggression problem), your new member is likely to develop aggressive behavior if your existing dog has aggression problem.

If you already have a problem dog, and still planning to get a new one, then you must make an arrangement to keep them separate. There is a pretty good chance that the magnitude of the problem behavior will be developed in your new puppy and will be eventually amplified, stimulated by the presence of a dog with behavioral issues.

Canines are doubtlessly an intelligent species, whether a pedigreed dog or a mongrel and irrespective of breed. Allelomimetic behavior is a reflection of its superb intelligence level. Due to its comparatively higher level of intelligence than many other species dogs can even perceive time. Here is how dogs can perceive time, a post that your will surely be interested to read out.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Happy German Shepherd Dog Day

WelcomeDogLovers wishes you all and your loved ones and your furry kids a Happy German Shepherd Dog Day :)


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Saturday, May 27, 2017

An Insight Into Pet Immunization

Vaccination is the safest route to ensure that your pets remain in the pink of health. Vaccines are safeguard against diseases. From grave organ damages to turning fatal the risk is immense. Even others in the pet community are prone to risking contagious diseases. A responsible pet owner always prioritize on scheduling vets appointment for routine immunization, because it bolsters future immunity for a lifetime.

Diseases Which Require A Shot of Vaccine

Diseases if not checked and prevented can turn fatal for pets. For health safety immunization is the ideal way out. In the age of advanced medical science, killer diseases like distemper, parvovirus and feline enteritis are things of the past (with the exception of unprotected dogs who keep alive the incidence of infectious diseases).

Dogs need to be immunized for:
Parvovirus
Distemper
Leptospirosis
Bordatella
Hepatitis
Para-influenza virus
Rabies


Cats require immunization for the following diseases:

Flu
Feline Enteritis
Feline Leukaemia Virus
Chlamydia


Is Vaccination A Safe Option?

Skin tumors, allergies, and other adverse effects have been linked to the process, hence there is doubt about safety of vaccination. Moreover, whether annual vaccination is a must is also a major concern. Usually older dogs who have a suppressed immune system and who mingle less with peers do not require annual shot. But, in some cases repeat or booster vaccinations are important to boost up the immunity in a better way. Routine boosters are integral to preventive veterinary medicine because the pets can undergo an annual checkup. It is all up to the age and health condition, on which the immunization schedule is decided. It is also dependent on breed, medical history, lifestyle, immediate environment and traveling habit of the animals. Small puppies get their quota of immunity from mothers milk. But with age, this immunity wears down and vaccination becomes a necessity. Vaccine schedule begins when the puppy is six to eight weeks old.

There are some side effects which bother pets, post-vaccination. All these symptoms occur within six hours of vaccination. Here\s a list of the adverse reactions that might occur, and which need medical attention:

Low fever
Allergic Outbreak
Muscle Pain
Low Energy
Sluggishness
Appetite Loss
Facial Swelling
Lameness
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Breathing Difficulty
Seizures
Swelling, redness and hair loss (at the site of injection)
Miscarriage in Pregnant Dog
Suppressed Immune System


The Way A Vaccine Works

Vaccines are classified as core and non-core vaccines. The former one is vital, while the latter depends on the exposure risk of diseases. Vaccine shots create antibodies by injecting weakened or dead bacteria into the immune system of the pet. These antibodies become warriors fighting and blocking the diseases. Modified live vaccines or MLV stimulate immune response by injecting weakened strain of disease. MLVs require less number of shots, though the effect is stronger compared to killed vaccines which require frequent administration.

The Need Of Titer Test

Antibody titer test is required for measuring the level of antibodies in the bloodstream and a pets ability for natural protection against diseases. These blood tests are helpful, but cannot replace vaccination program completely. Higher titer level does not necessarily mean that the pet has 100% natural immunity; but, when the level is low it is surely a sign that the pet lacks in inherent protection capacity.

In a nutshell, vaccines are altered microorganisms which lessens or prevents risk of diseases. Thus, it is always safe to protect your beloved pet from life-threatening diseases with vaccines.

Related Read: Read out posts from Responsible Dog Ownership and Dog Care Tips
 

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